Illegal immigration in Massachusetts target of new bipartisan bill
BOSTON – A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is unveiling a new bill aimed at clamping down on illegal immigration in Massachusetts.
The bill is designed to toughen restrictions on illegal immigrants in seeking state benefits, driving a car and getting a job.
The bill will also address Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s decision to bow out of a federal program that checks the immigration status of those arrested. In June, the administration sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stating Patrick wouldn’t sign any agreement for the state to participate in the Secure Communities program. Patrick said he was worried about ethnic profiling. A Patrick spokesman has since said the federal government no longer seeks a state role in the program.
Details of the bill are being unveiled at an afternoon press conference. Meanwhile, in Boxborough, a man police say had been “previously deported” has been charged with drunken driving for the sixth time.
Boxborough police say 48-year-old Eduardo Alementa Torres failed field sobriety tests when he was pulled over on Saturday night. Police say he had no identification and gave officers a false name. When officers ran his fingerprints through an automated identification system, they found he had three prior drunken driving convictions in California and two in Massachusetts. Police say he is a native of Mexico who had been deported.
Torres is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Ayer District Court. It was not clear if he had a lawyer. In August, a man from Ecuador allegedly in the U.S. illegally was accused of being drunk when he struck and killed a Milford motorcyclist.
Gov. Patrick signs sweeping overhaul of alimony laws
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a sweeping overhaul of the state’s alimony statutes into law.
The new law establishes guidelines for alimony payments and limits their duration, virtually ending so-called “lifetime alimony” payments ordered by some judges in divorce cases.
One of the biggest changes in the law would set limits on how long a spouse can receive alimony, based on how long the couple was married.
Patrick signed the bill at a Statehouse press conference on Monday.
The state’s earlier alimony laws didn’t set any time limits. The bill’s supporters said the new guidelines will help judges make fair decisions.
The new law also allows a judge to end alimony payments if the individual receiving payments is living with a new partner - even if they haven’t formally married.